A Drinking Problem
No, I don’t have one. Not drinking is my problem. Abstaining from alcohol or not being fully committed to gettin slizzard seems to be less socially acceptable than being a raging alcoholic. Why is that?
The last time I drank a lot of alcohol was three years ago about a month before I met my husband. This is what it looked like:
Shortly after the tragedy of my lollipop’s stick going limp I basically passed out in a beanbag chair and a Frag Doll and a Cavegirl put me to bed. There was vomiting. I had a great time at that party, and in this rare instance the fun I had was greater than the pain that ensued.
I don’t have any family history of alcoholism. I have CERTAINLY done some drinking in my life (as many of you who have met me at E3, GDC and PAX can attest to) and don’t discourage those around me from drinking. I just don’t do it any more, and I’ll tell you why:
- I have three children. Someone needs to be responsible for them and that someone should not be drunk.
- I have a perfect driving record. I have had parking tickets and have been pulled over for expired tabs or a bad taillight, but I have never done anything sketchy behind the wheel. I don’t think a DUI would be a good way to pop the cherry on my record.
- The pros and cons don’t balance out. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being tipsy or ‘relaxed’ enough to cancel out the hangover.
- Alcohol doesn’t like me. I don’t know if it’s being out of practice, getting older, or maybe a mild allergy, but I go from buzzed to hungover in about 30 minutes. Not worth it.
Logical, yeah? So why am I, and other people who just aren’t into drinking social pariahs? It has held me back in my social life and especially my career. If you enjoy imbibing I’m sure you’ve had the sort of conversation like this: “Yeah it turns out s/he doesn’t really drink. So *that’s* a lot of fun [sarcasm]”. So, coworkers or clients that don’t fully commit to drinking are less desirable than the ones who like to knock a few back at happy hour and REALLY tie one on during business trips, trade shows etc.? Why is that? Do the drinkers fear the light or non-drinkers will judge them? In my experience it’s the other way around. Drinking is the acceptable norm, and not drinking is the anomaly. You can get away with it if you’re a recovering alcoholic, Mormon, Muslim, or pregnant. Otherwise… there is something wrong with you (and in three of those four cases, people don’t want to party with you anyway. Unfair, but true).
I understand the need to socialize with colleagues. It shows you’re a good sport and a team player and can cut loose. But if you don’t have a ‘good reason’ to order a Diet Coke instead of a beer you are suspect. A spy, a stick in the mud, or just plain weird.
This seems fucked up to me. Does a person have to drink to be successful? It appears that way. Is it just in the quasi-entertainment industry in which I’ve found myself? Is it worse in music and film? Do you have to do coke (or be a recovering addict) to get ahead? Should I and other abstainers have to drink to advance our careers? Is this high school?
So, drinkers who mistrust non-drinkers: what’s the deal with that? Abstainers: Does this ring true for you too?